I’m halfway through my Top 10 Organizing Challenge! First, I cleaned up our entryway drop zone and added a cute wooden mail organizer to hold the incoming mail. Keeping the mail chaos at bay is a daily battle, but I try to keep it from getting out of hand by quickly tossing/recycling anything that we don’t need to keep. I’ve also been unsubscribing from magazines and catalogs to keep the paper waste down. I’ve kept my very favorites, but let others go.
mirrored console table | similar basket | similar mirror | marble pedestal bowl | similar throw blanket | similar wooden mail organizer
The large woven basket underneath holds all my husband’s baseball hats or random shoes and I put his laptop bag down there too or else it takes up too much space on the counter.
On top is a dish for coins (and not that many currently because I’ve been taking them to the coin star machine at the grocery store and cashing them in:) and one for keys and sunglasses. Why do men come home with so much loose change all the time?!?! It’s like it multiplies in their pockets.
I splurged on real hydrangeas this time and they make me so happy all vibrant and green!
Here’s the mail organizer up close. So cute and my son is all about changing the cubes to reflect the current day. It’s a good way to keep reinforcing the calendar and dates to an almost 5 year-old. He’s obsessed with knowing what day it is and marking days off the calendar in his room at night before bed.
I cleaned out the mail sorter and gathered all the extraneous paper, including from my wallet (receipts, coupons, etc.) to compile them so I could go through them. I think our mail system is working pretty well since this pile wasn’t that bad.
James’ school work has been getting put inside a kitchen drawer lately so I cleaned that out too.
And gathered all our files that needed another run through. Lots of things we keep digital files for, but there are still some paper copies that have to be dealt with.
I like to just spread everything out on the floor into piles and then figure out what needs to go where and what is for trashing or shredding. We’ve invested in a decent shredder and use it often. The biggest time suck is going through all the files and then the walk down memory lane as I sifted through my law school application (yes, I still have that!) and rejection/acceptance letters (those too). I’ve got transcripts and letters of recommendation and tax returns from so long ago, but I like remembering when I made $16,428 as a waitress back in the day putting myself through college, so they stay. I also have credit card bills that I paid off many years ago and have kept as a badge of pride to never get back into debt. Thank you Dave Ramsey! My college mentor and I used to meet for lunch and I have his scribble on a napkin and since he’s now in heaven, it’s a sentimental piece of paper I’ll treasure forever.
See how you can get lost in these little papers that tell a lifetime of stories?! But, back to the organizing . . .
I whittled those two big file boxes down to one that I already had (and the hanging files) and like better because it has a lid.
I keep one small accordion file for household things I might need to access easily and other files for blog expenses by year.
A stack of Kirkland’s quatrefoil storage boxes (small, medium and large) work perfectly for holding the old blog expenses, James artwork from this year that I still need to photograph to save, and old calendars. They look nice in my office too.
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To keep a few pieces of artwork/schoolwork on display in James’ playroom, I found this wooden “Look What I Did!” plaque with hooks and let him choose what he wanted to showcase. In the future, I plan to create an art zone in the playroom and then the sign will be great for hanging those creations. We still keep lots of James’ art on the fridge with magnets, old school style.
I found a few pretty things at Kirkland’s for my office space too. I love this shiny gold initial cup. I was thinking of putting a small plant inside, but was concerned about drainage so for now, I’ve got my colored markers inside.
These ceramic egg crates are perfect for holding little items like jewelry or small office supplies.
So, now I get to check another organizing challenge off my list!
Update: You can see the organizing challenges I’ve completed so far here:
FRIDGE | PANTRY | TOYS | MEDICINE/BATH DRAWERS | PAPERWORK | MUDROOM/CLEANING SUPPLIES | KID CLOTHES